Pens snap Sens win streak

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

At the end of a day when many chowed down on turkey, the Pittsburgh Penguins dined out on a luckless performance by Senators goaltender Pascal Leclaire.

The defending champions rode a couple of fortunate bounces to a 4-1 win Monday night at Scotiabank Place in front of 17,014, snapping the Senators' three-game winning streak.

The Senators managed the tough part of the job: They kept Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin off the scoresheet.

But they couldn't handle Tyler Kennedy or the bounces and didn't help themselves with misfires and a power play that continues to search for a clue.

"We definitely can compete with those guys," said Leclaire. "The puck was not bouncing our way."

Fair enough.

But when your top guys and your power play aren't producing, it's hard to overcome the bounces.

The power play went 0-for-5 — including an 87-second stretch with a two-man advantage in the third -- and still has only one goal this season.

The absence of defenceman Filip Kuba, out with a lower-body injury, was evident last night.

"You miss a guy like Kuba 5-on-5 and on the power play," said coach Cory Clouston. "He logs a lot of important minutes."

The Senators will have to muddle on. Kuba's not expected back for Thursday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The good news is the Senators did get a goal from Milan Michalek to open the scoring, his first with the club. But after that, their best chance once again came from the fourth line.

With the score 1-1, Shean Donovan hit the post around the six-minute mark of the second period and Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Chris Kelly on the rebound. The Senators lost the ensuing faceoff and their puck wound up in their end, where another couple of bounces, one off Kelly's stick and then off the skate of rookie Erik Karlsson, saw Tyler Kennedy credited with his third of the season.

Pittsburgh's Bill Guerin benefited from the first good bounce. His shot looked like it deflected off Senators defenceman Chris Phillips and then off the backboards. Leclaire, anticipating the puck coming out the other side, had left the right post and Guerin jumped on the loose puck as he fell and poked it into the open side.

'Bad goal at bad time'

But Leclaire had to shoulder his share of the blame for Kennedy's second of the night to make it 3-1 with just under two minutes to play in the second period. After his teammates turned over the puck over inside the Penguins line, Kennedy sprinted up the right wing and wired a shot from the top of the faceoff circle past Leclaire.

"What hurt was that third goal. It was a bad goal at a bad time when we trying to get back in the game," said Leclaire. "I kind of missed it. I don't have a whole lot of excuses. It's a shot you've got to stop."

The Senators are off Tuesday, but will be back at work Wednesday.

At the top of their do-to list is finding a way to get that power play going. You aren't going to beat many teams over the long run without it.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


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